This test is part of How We Test Our Personal Blenders v1.0
One of the biggest roadblocks that prevents most personal blenders from being good all-around machines is the difficulty they have crushing ice cubes. That’s why we included this test — it highlights those that truly stand out. The ability to crush ice is indicative of how versatile your machine is for other tasks as well.
Why The Test Matters
This test is important because it directly indicates a blender’s versatility. As the toughest ingredients, whole ice cubes can present real challenges for even high-powered blenders. So, if you find a machine that can succeed here, it won’t have any trouble handling other solid foods.
Beyond pure versatility, this test also gives us an idea of the blender’s durability. The ice test can tell us what sort of problems may arise under heavy-duty use. Does the blender turn out snow-like crushed ice, or will the ice cubes win and wear down the machine?
Take a look through our results, especially if you’re in the market for a device to help you make cocktails or snow cones!
Testing Recipe: 1 Serving
- 6 oz whole ice cubes
We add all the ice cubes into the blending cup and pulse until they are fully blended. Occasionally, we may shake the cup in between pulses to force the ice back down onto the blades.
Note: Before beginning the test, we check each user manual for any instructions regarding ice cubes. Some devices specifically state that they should not be used on whole ice cubes. In such cases, we skip this test and give it a failing grade (zero points) for this category.
This test is worth 10% of the total score. We rate each blender’s performance on a 0-10 scale. Both the amount of unblended ice and the blended fineness contribute to our rating.
The Amount of Unblended Ice
Once we’ve determined that the results aren’t going to improve any further, we pull the ice out and check the outcome. Any remaining chunks are separated out and weighed. By dividing that weight by the total (6 oz), we can determine the percentage of unblended ice.
- ≤ 10%: The blender will receive 10 points
- ≤ 20%: 9 points
- ≤ 30%: 8 points
- ≤ 40%: 7 points
- ≤ 50%: 6 points
- More than 50%: 0 points (Failed)
The Crushed Ice Fineness
The fineness always fell into one of three variants. We don’t have a specific score for each variant, but consider it a factor in the final grading.
- Very fine: Such ices are fluffy, slushy, and snow-like. If a blender can create very fine shavings, its final score is calculated purely according to the amount of unblended ice.
- Fine: If the crushed ice comes out soft but a bit chewy, we deduct one point from the final score.
- Coarse: This ice is very chewy/crunchy and less pleasant than we’d like. We deduct two points from the final score in this case.
Tina Pham is a staff writer and reviewer, with five years of experience in the industry. As a passionate amateur home cook, she loves to discover practical cooking solutions, and has made it her mission to bring her findings to every kitchen. Her ultimate goal is making cooking more of a pleasure for all.
Lap is Head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (RTR Team) at HealthyKitchen101.com, where he directs and supervises the testing of kitchen gadgets and appliances.